Wizards' Scott Brooks Jokes He Doesn't Like Play-In Anymore After Clinching 8 Seed

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 16, 2021

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks reacts to an official's call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Toronto Raptors Thursday, May 6, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks threw shade at LeBron James on Sunday after his team clinched the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference, earning a bout against the No. 7 Boston Celtics in the play-in tournament.

Brooks jokingly told reporters that he thought whoever created the play-in tournament "should be fired," and he agreed with James, who spoke out against the concept at the start of May as the Los Angeles Lakers tumbled through the standings. 

Darren M. Haynes @DarrenMHaynes

🚨🚨MUST SEE🚨🚨<br><br>Now that the #Wizards are the 8th seed, Scott Brooks joked that he agreed with LeBron about disliking the play-in. @wusa9 #DCAboveAll pic.twitter.com/kRD1TqJRh6

Brooks recovered and told reporters that he was a big proponent of the play-in tournament.

The Wizards claimed the No. 8 seed with 115-110 comeback victory over the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday. The Hornets fell to the No. 10 seed in the East. 

"It created so much excitement in the last two weeks," Brooks said of the play-in tournament. "As we all know, any time you can create excitement and meaningful games in the last 10 games of the season is great for everyone involved." 

The 34-38 Wizards clinched a play-in appearance Friday when they defeated Cleveland, 120-105. After free-falling through the first half of the season (sitting at 14-20 at the All-Star break), the Wizards won 17 of their final 23 games to make the postseason for the first time since the 2017-18 season, when they were eliminated in the first round. 

Washington Wizards @WashWizards

We fought so hard to get to this point. <br><br>Inside the locker room after today's win! πŸŽ₯ pic.twitter.com/D9JSAozYL6

The Celtics won the regular-season series against the Wizards, 2-1. But where Washington climbed through the standings, Boston was slipping, and with Jaylen Brown done for the year with a wrist injury, the Celtics will have even less offensive power in the postseason.

With the league's leading scorer leading the charge in Bradley Beal joining forces with the NBA's new all-time leader in triple-doubles in Russell Westbrook, the Wizards are in good shape to fight their way out of the play-in tournament.